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 Post subject: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacitors
PostPosted: Jun Tue 30, 2020 4:08 am 
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Location: Central PA 16801
as a teenager in the 80s, saved my bucks and purchased a pair of Realistic Mach Two and later a pair of Mach Three speakers.

by 2002 or so, their sound deteriorated along with the foam surrounds.

at that time, i performed their first restoration with new foams and installed new standard bipolar electrolytics from Parts Express.

with the new capacitors and a set of new surrounds, they sounded as wonderful as i ever known them to sound.

fast forward to last weekend 2020. i refoamed the woofers for the second time with their third set of foams including the factory build. the woofers are like new once again.

when i restored the crossovers for the second time with their third set of capacitors including the factory build, i installed Dayton Audio Film capacitors.

the results were much more than i expected. the film capacitors in the second order 12 dB/oct midrange and high frequency dividing network made quite the difference.

they sound very clear and clean and the upgrade to film capacitors was well worth it as there definitely was a sonic difference of clarity. the best way i could describe it is that the electrolytics had the tendency to sound hissy and spitty, even the new ones, but it became worse as they aged.

the Mach Ones, Twos, and Threes have been my main listening sets of speakers since i was a little boy and have use every day on quite the variety of program material. their sound has been engraved into my brain and i must say, the Dayton Film Capacitors made a wonderful difference to my ears.

my hearing is 30 Hz to 18,500 Khz at 20-30 dB at age 50.

i linked the cheap capacitors that i installed in 2002 and the Dayton capacitors that i installed last week.

junk:

https://www.parts-express.com/100uf-100 ... r--027-360

Dayton Audio:

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-au ... r--027-428

steve


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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jun Tue 30, 2020 8:10 am 
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When i recapped the crossovers in my KEF Corelli's it made an incredible difference to the speakers , i'm a firm believer in film and metal foil caps in high current and high frequency applications like speakers . I prefer the metal foil over metalized film because the lead can be spot welded or soldered to the foil depending on the metal used instead of crimped metalized film .

I repaired ships radars and lots of the metalized film cap developed high ESR's after 3 to 5 years , the switching power supplies would start to whine and shut down , they would check good with an ESR meter but were still bad at higher currents and voltage . Decca radars used metalized film caps in their modulator tanks and after a couple of years the would loudly screech and cause the the pulse rate relays to arc over , Metal foil caps didn't .

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Wed 01, 2020 12:46 am 
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yes, there definitely was a difference when using the film capacitors.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Wed 01, 2020 11:54 pm 
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Oh Nice, I have a pair of these. Thanks for the info.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Thu 02, 2020 12:03 am 
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When I re-did the crossovers on my Magnepans several months ago, I use film capacitors. My old Yamaha amplifier had died, so I replaced it and the pre-amp with a new Yamaha unit, so the whole system now sounds as good as it ever did.

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Last edited by FStephenMasek on Jul Fri 03, 2020 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Thu 02, 2020 12:21 am 
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are those maggies power hungry ?

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Thu 02, 2020 5:55 am 
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I have two Ditton 15's and two Ditton 44's... all had their caps replaced by film caps a while back (also did this for my neighbour's two Ditton 15's.) Can't tell you if they sound better as no longer able to do A-B testing! Regardless, I still recommend replacing non-polarised electros with film types.
Cheers,
Roger

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Fri 03, 2020 12:40 am 
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Dutch Rabbit wrote:
are those maggies power hungry ?

steve



Very much so.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Fri 03, 2020 3:38 am 
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Dutch Rabbit wrote:
are those maggies power hungry ?

steve
Not really. I am now driving them with an 85 watt per channel Yamaha A-S501.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Sun 05, 2020 7:29 pm 
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I would think the true ribbon speakers would be the power hogs. What were those called, Acoustat or something like that? I only saw a pair in a dealer once, did not hear them. Film or foil caps would be great in crossovers, fix and forget type of deal, except in the instances where physical size is an issue, like maybe in midrange crossovers and such. Some non electrolytic caps are so large that they might not fit on the crossover or just be impractical.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Sun 05, 2020 7:42 pm 
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Dutch Rabbit wrote:
are those maggies power hungry ?
steve
Yes, I had a pair and used a David Hafler mosfet amp, FWIR it was 275 total watts a real beast... Oh, my listening room, 625sq ft... They were gifted to The CT museum in '15, worked great, but having a pair of barn doors in the Great room got old...

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Sun 05, 2020 8:15 pm 
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the mids and highs are so clear, crisp, and detailed in these machs.

they sound so real whether it be tony bennett, dean martin, white zombie, or metallica.

they never sounded this good, even when i was a teenager when i bought them new.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Wed 08, 2020 7:16 pm 
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I recapped my KEF 105s a few years back. I first checked the two by placing them
side by side and playing various music in mono to one or the other. They sounded the
same. I then reversed places (to check room effects) and they still sounded the same.

I then recapped one with expensive film-foil caps (except the >90 uF ones in the bass or midrange,
which used the very best Nichicon electrolytics with low ESR, back to back.)

The two speakers still sounded the same. I then recapped the second one with random
cheap caps from my spares box, including replacing all electrolytics with new electrolytics.
They still sounded the same. Finally, I capped the second one with the nice new high quality ones
... still the same sound.

Caveat: these speakers have very complicated crossovers and the cap specs are tight.
All caps, including crappy ones, were paralleled as necessary to get in spec. All resistors
and coils in the crossovers were checked and they were all far far better than spec.

So, do I have tin ears? That depends on the meaning of "do". The real questions asks "did" :cry:

One other thing: these speakers were made very early in the European push to crapification
through no-lead solder ... long ago they started sounding bad, and it was discovered that
solder joints were going bad, and even falling off circuit board traces. At that time
all joints were resoldered with high quality 63-37 solder and all board traces paralled with
heavy hookup wire.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Wed 08, 2020 10:29 pm 
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i can say this: i have restored quite a few sets of vintage speakers. in some cases, the difference is minimal to no difference.

on the other hand, i have heard a considerable difference at times.

my hearing is 30 hz to 18.5 Khz. my ears have been trained on the Mach Series speakers, the Ones as a little kid and the Twos and Threes as a teenager and an early 20 something.

since i know how they are supposed to sound, i must say that the first restoration in early y2k with new foams and cheap electrolytics restored them to how i ever known them to sound.

the second restoration with the new film capacitors made an even better difference.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Sun 12, 2020 9:12 pm 
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In my experience the film caps not only sound better, they are the last caps you will ever have to buy for a crossover.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaker Xover: Film Capacitors vs. Electrolytic Capacit
PostPosted: Jul Sun 12, 2020 10:52 pm 
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yes, b/c i don't plan on doing it again.

steve

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